In The Joy of Cookies, Sharon Tyler Herbst writes that these cookie bars are “gooey-chewy-good.” That’s an accurate descriptor, although a slight understatement. These are sweet (dark brown sugar, dark corn syrup) and buttery. The vanilla (a whole tablespoon in the bar part, and another two teaspoons in the glaze) comes on strong, but is well-balanced with toasted pecans and chocolate — big semi-sweet morsels in the bar and mini semi-sweets on top.
Ms. Herbst suggests using butterscotch chips instead of chocolate but I cannot imagine these being as good with that much more sugar. They are nigh unto the tipping point for me already!
This is the third time I’ve noticed that Ms. Herbst has used the phrase “gild the lily” (referring to the butterscotch glaze here) in our hop-scotch journey through this book, and I’m beginning to wonder if it is to her as “preternatural” is to Anne Rice. Tiny pet peeve of mine: If it’s worth saying twice, it’s worth saying differently the second time. I don’t always live by those words, but wouldn’t the world be richer if we did? Imagine the vocabulary!